Date

2019-03-22

Document Type

Presentation

Description

The Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative (WHBC) consists of a group of volunteers from organizations with an interest in reducing infant mortality in Worcester, including representatives from UMass Memorial, Family Health Center of Worcester, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the March of Dimes. The organization originally began as the Worcester Infant Mortality Reduction Task Force in the mid-1990s in order to examine trends in Worcester's infant mortality rate (IMR). This work has continued, evolving in response to changes in both the needs and desires of the local community, and has come to encompass several intervention and reduction strategies over the past two decades.

Ultimately, in pursuit of the goal of IM reduction, the WHBC's mission is to improve health outcomes for infants and their families by engaging and working collaboratively with the community to reduce health inequities, so that Worcester’s infant mortality rate is decreased. Our work thus seeks to make a wide variety of improvements in the “social determinants of health.” The WHBC collects and examines data around IM by conducting reviews of the medical charts surrounding an infant death, and tackles specific projects addressing these social determinants of health.

Although overall IMR has decreased from 8-10 to about 5, ongoing disparities remain with Hispanic IMR higher than our overall IMR at a time when state and national trends do not show this higher Hispanic IMR.

Presenters will describe their progress in the last decade in addressing the racial and ethnic disparities in Worcester using a community-engagement model. Presenters will review their work with the local Ghanaian community that led to the Nhyira Ba project, with lessons learned from that project informing 2016 work with the Latino community and from their work to develop Worcester's Baby Box initiative. Throughout this work, real time chart audits by volunteer physicians have enabled the group to remain ahead of the state's data about local IMR. This panel discussion will include the current preventive medicine faculty member who does the chart reviews discussing her work with local college students using in-depth Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze data; the current family medicine faculty member who chairs the WHBC and the current nurse member who is recent past vice-chair to review the history and future goals; the current Commonwealth Medicine member who leads the Baby Box community project funded by the UMass Remillard Foundation, with multidisciplinary groups of medical and nursing students working in the community. Presenters will survey the audience before their presentation on their knowledge of WHBC work and survey the audience during Q&A for ways to further engage with the community.

Objectives of this breakout session include: 1) Explain concepts of community-oriented approach to addressing infant mortality disparities, using Worcester as an example, 2) Summarize three projects that use these concepts currently in Worcester (chart audit and academic collaboration, Baby Box program, ongoing WHBC work).

Keywords

Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative, infant mortality, infant mortality rate, health disparities, community engagement model

DOI

10.13028/2227-ax38

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
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Mar 22nd, 9:30 AM

Infant Mortality: A Community Engagement Model

The Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative (WHBC) consists of a group of volunteers from organizations with an interest in reducing infant mortality in Worcester, including representatives from UMass Memorial, Family Health Center of Worcester, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the March of Dimes. The organization originally began as the Worcester Infant Mortality Reduction Task Force in the mid-1990s in order to examine trends in Worcester's infant mortality rate (IMR). This work has continued, evolving in response to changes in both the needs and desires of the local community, and has come to encompass several intervention and reduction strategies over the past two decades.

Ultimately, in pursuit of the goal of IM reduction, the WHBC's mission is to improve health outcomes for infants and their families by engaging and working collaboratively with the community to reduce health inequities, so that Worcester’s infant mortality rate is decreased. Our work thus seeks to make a wide variety of improvements in the “social determinants of health.” The WHBC collects and examines data around IM by conducting reviews of the medical charts surrounding an infant death, and tackles specific projects addressing these social determinants of health.

Although overall IMR has decreased from 8-10 to about 5, ongoing disparities remain with Hispanic IMR higher than our overall IMR at a time when state and national trends do not show this higher Hispanic IMR.

Presenters will describe their progress in the last decade in addressing the racial and ethnic disparities in Worcester using a community-engagement model. Presenters will review their work with the local Ghanaian community that led to the Nhyira Ba project, with lessons learned from that project informing 2016 work with the Latino community and from their work to develop Worcester's Baby Box initiative. Throughout this work, real time chart audits by volunteer physicians have enabled the group to remain ahead of the state's data about local IMR. This panel discussion will include the current preventive medicine faculty member who does the chart reviews discussing her work with local college students using in-depth Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze data; the current family medicine faculty member who chairs the WHBC and the current nurse member who is recent past vice-chair to review the history and future goals; the current Commonwealth Medicine member who leads the Baby Box community project funded by the UMass Remillard Foundation, with multidisciplinary groups of medical and nursing students working in the community. Presenters will survey the audience before their presentation on their knowledge of WHBC work and survey the audience during Q&A for ways to further engage with the community.

Objectives of this breakout session include: 1) Explain concepts of community-oriented approach to addressing infant mortality disparities, using Worcester as an example, 2) Summarize three projects that use these concepts currently in Worcester (chart audit and academic collaboration, Baby Box program, ongoing WHBC work).

 

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